Guitar Tapping Lesson

Guitar Tapping Lesson

A Bit of History

One of the first rock guitarists to use tapping in the early '70s was Steve Hackett , of Genesis . Two example of Hackett's complex tapping can be heard on the song " Supper's Ready ", from 1972, and " The Return of the Giant Hogweed ", from 1971. Harvey Mandel, well-known for his psychedelic guitar playing, also employed 2-handed fretboard tapping. Mandel was one of the first rock guitarists to utilize this technique, years before Eddie Van Halen and Stanley Jordan came along.

Guitar-Tapping-Lesson Exercises

NOTE: All of the exercises here use the "C" pentatonic minor scale. To transpose them to other keys, just move your hand to the fret where the root of the new scale is located. I will give you transposing instructions for each exercise.

Exercise 1

This exercise begins on the root of the scale. To change to another scale, just move your right hand to the new starting note and position your left hand so that the relationship between the notes is maintained.

For Example: To use the "A" scale, begin with your right hand on the 5 th fret of the 6th string and use your left hand on the open 6th string and the 3rd fret. To play an octave higher in "A", start on the 17th fret of the 6th string and use your left hand on the 15th and 12th frets.

Playing Instructions

Begin by placing your left hand on the 3rd and 6th frets.The fingering is indicated at the top of the exercise. Then tap the 8th fret with the 2nd finger of your right hand. Using your second finger allows you to hold your pick normally, which makes for easy switching between tapping and non-tapping passages.

Then do a "pull-off" to the 3rd fret, followed by a "hammer-on/pull-off" on the 6th fret. Continue on each string using the frets and fingers indicated. When you finish with the 1st string, go back down until you reach the starting point.

Here is the exercise:

To hear a speed loop practice file, click on the right arrow of the player.

Exercise 2

The root note in this exercise is the one played on the 8th fret with the 4th finger of your left hand. To change keys, just move your left hand accordingly.

Exercise 3

The root note is the one played by the 1st finger of your left hand.


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